Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten
Nebraska returns eight starters from last year's team that posted a 41-14 record, advanced to an NCAA Regional final and finished with a No. 21 national ranking. Included in that group of eight returning starters are six players who have earned an all-conference award in their Husker career, the highest total to begin a season in school history. The Huskers open their 2012 season with back-to-back games against top 15 teams on Thursday, February 9 against Washington and Arizona at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona. Head Coach Rhonda Revelle begins her 20th season at the helm for the Huskers.
2011: 41-14, 12-9
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Rhonda Revelle
Nebraska returns eight starters from last year, including catcher Taylor Edwards who led team in batting, homers and RBI. Also returning is outfielder Nikki Haget, who was the second best hitter (.341). Edwards returns for her sophomore season after gaining recognition as one of the nation’s top players last season. Arguably the nation’s top freshman and top catcher in 2011, Edwards was the only freshman among the 25 finalists for the USA Softball Player-of-the-Year award and was one of only two catchers named a finalist for the award. Despite battling back problems during the second half of the season, Edwards still ranked seventh nationally in RBIs and 13th in home runs en route to earning third-team All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Edwards adds a big bat to the middle of the Husker lineup, where she is expected to hit for power and drive in runs. She excelled in both of those departments last season, slugging 18 home runs and producing 67 RBIs, leading all freshmen nationally in both categories. She also set an NCAA record with a home run in six consecutive games in February and set a Big 12 freshman record with her 67 RBIs.
All three pitchers return, led by All-Big 12 first team pick Ashley Hagemann, who went 31-13 last season and totaled 344 strikeouts, the second-highest total in school history. She ranked eighth nationally in strikeouts and 10th in wins. She also showed the ability to shut down the nation’s best teams, posting eight victories over ranked teams, including four wins against top-10 squads, with two of those victories being shutouts. Hagemann has also excelled in her career in the NCAA Tournament, allowing one run or less in six of her seven career postseason starts. Also back is Tatum Edwards (7-0) and Haley Workman (3-1). Edwards was second on team in homers (14) and batted .285.
Who To Watch:
With catcher Edwards and Hagemann, the Huskers have one of the best batteries in the Big Ten.
The Huskers have a solid, veteran pitching staff that ranked 30th in ERA last season with a 1.96 ERA and ranked 31 in fielding percentage. This could be one of Coach Revelle’s best teams.
Projected Postseason: NCAA
At Bats: Nikki Haget, OF, 182
Hits: Nikki Haget, OF, 62
Home Runs: Taylor Edwards, C, 18
RBIs: Taylor Edwards, C, 67
Runs: Nikki Haget, OF, 34
Stolen Bases: Brittany Hubbard, IF, 10
Wins Ashley Hagemann, P, 31
Innings Pitched: Ashley Hagemann, P, 276.1
Strikeouts: Ashley Hagemann, P, 344
Saves: Ashley Hagemann, P, 2
Madness 2012 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#14 Mattie Fowler